Rebaptism Impossible! [Excerpt] – Acts 19: 1-7

The heretics apparently repented under Paul's preaching.  Yet further, Paul then applied no water whatsoever to those ex-heretics but simply laid his hands on them. They were, claims Gravemeijer, "baptized by John, and confirmed by Paul."

If Gravemeijer is right in this, Calvin too (see at n. 106 below) would be right in suggesting that Paul did not at all apply water to those heretics.  This would be so, even though in the opinion of Gravemeijer (op. cit. III:20:25 p. 175 n. 3) Calvin "wrongly understands Acts 19:5 of baptism with the Holy Spirit."   Consequently, there would then be no possibility of them having been rebaptized (with water) by Paul. 

Acts 19:4b uses the plural 'pisteusoosin' (apparently still in respect of the singular tooi laooi in 19:4a).   This, together with the men…de factor discussed above, lends some credence to Gravemeijer's hypothesis.  See, however, n. 99 below.

98) Acts 19:5.

99) For our own refutation of this part of Gravemeijer's hypothesis set out in n. 97 above, a thesis which he in large part derived from Calvin, see our own main text immediately after its reference to n. 115.

100) Acts 19:1-7.     101) Comm. on Acts 19:2.     102) Acts 19:4a.

103) Comm. on Acts 19:4-5.    104) Inst. IV:15:18.    105) Id.     106) See below at nn. 109-120.

107) Inst. IV:15:18.    108) Ib. IV:15:7-8.   109) See above at n. 95.    110) See below at n. 120.

111) Cf.  Mk. 2:18; Jh. 9:28; Mt. 23:15; Acts 5:36f cf. 17:18; Tit. 1:12f.

112) Cf. Rom. 2:28f; 8:2-9; Jude 4,11-19; Rev. 2:9; 3:9.

113) John 7:39 (oupoo gar men Pneuma Hagion dedomen).

114) Acts 19:2 (all' oud' ei Pneuma Hagion estin eekousamen).    115)  See at n. 97.

116) For the Greek, see n. 93 above.

117) Acts 19:5-6 (Vulg.): his auditis, baptizati sunt in nomine Domini Jesu.  Et cum imposuisset illis manus Paulus.

118) See below at n. 120.

119) See: Het Nieuwe Testament of Alle Boeken des Nieuwen Verbonds onzes Heeren Jezus Christus door Last van de Hoog-Mog. Heeren Staten-Generaal der Vereenigde Nederlanden, en volgens besluit van de Synode Nationaal, gehouden te Dordrecht, in de Jaren 1618 en 1619, uit de Oorspronkelijke Talen in onze Nederlandsche Taal Getrouwelijk Overgezet, met Nieuwe Bijgevoegde Verklaringen op de Duistere Plaatsen en Aanteekeningen van de Gelijkluidende Teksten (Kok, Kampen, 1915, III p. 244 nn. 7-9).

120) A. Kuyper: Sac. pp. 134f (in his Dog. Dict., IV.   For an extended discussion, see Kuyper's E Voto Dordraceno, Wormser, Amsterdam, 1892, pp. 509f.  In ib. p. 511 n. 1, Kuyper maintains against Calvin and others that the Greek particle men, upon which the Dordt Dutch Bible had relied, does not occur in the most reliable manuscripts at Acts 19:4.   See too at nn. 97 & 119 above.

121) Lk. 3:3-22 cf. Acts 19:3.    122) Mt. 28:18 cf. Acts 19:5-6.    123) Eph. 4:5.

124) Iren.: Against Heresies III:17:1-4 & IV:22:4.

125) Hippol.: Refutation of all Heresies 9:7 and Discourse on the Holy Theophany.

126) Lact.: Divine Institutes IV:15.

127) Ath..: On Holy Baptism, in J.-P. Migne's Patrologia Graecina-Latina 28:760 ABC.

128) Bas.: On the Holy Spirit XII:28.

129) Greg. Nys.: On the Baptism of Christ, in NPNF, 2nd Ser., V, pp. 522f.

130) Aug.: Tracts on John's Gospel IV:11-15f.    131) Calv.: Comm.  on Acts 19:4-5.

132) Dordt Dutch Bible: comments at Acts 19:1-7.   133) A. Kuyper: De Sac. pp. 134f.

134) Dale: Baptism, in Schaff-Herzog Encyclopaedia of Religious Knowledge I p. 197.